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Ed Yeates ReportingA revolutionary new drug modifies brain chemistry to treat the very core of alcoholism. Preferring to remain anonymous, "Todd" told us how this new drug has altered the very brain chemistry that made him want to drink.
TODD: "I couldn't believe it. Within a day and a half, maybe two days, the cravings just seem to go."
Todd has been taking a drug called Campral three times a day for 105 days now. He's no longer drinking. And with help through individual and group therapy sessions, he's breaking a habit that was part of his daily life for years.
Todd: "It was such a habit to stop after work and go get something to drink. I would drink 30 to 40 12 ounce beers a night. It's kind of like a dark fog that you live in. You're just more or less comfortably numb."
Unlike former anti-addiction drugs which made patients violently ill if they tried to drink, Dr. Michael Crookston with LDS Hospital says this new medication treats the very core of the disease, in the brain.
Michael Crookston, M.D., Addiction Psychiatry, LDS Hospital: "It's more like they suddenly realize that they're just not obsessed with alcohol. They're not thinking about it, it doesn't occupy all of their thoughts during the day."
Though the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of this drug for physicians in this country only eight months ago, it has a remarkable track record now in some 40 countries.
Combined with therapy, the pill is helping Todd dramatically reach his goal.
Todd: "To no longer have the dependency on alcohol, to continue to get my life back together."
Since the new drug has few if any side effects, it's possible a patient might be able to take it indefinitely, especially when a genetic predisposition for alcoholism is present.